How To Become An Accountant
Anyone with a head for business and figures should consider a career in accountancy.
The work can range from filing tax returns for small businesses to preparing annual accounts for international companies. You might also provide financial forecasts, offer business advice or carry out independent audits.
Getting a job as an accountant can lead to high salaries for people with the right qualifications and skills, which will include a high level of accuracy and excellent communication skills. Although accountants will spend many hours in an office, the job may often involve travel in the UK or abroad.
A minimum qualification of a bachelors degree is normally required to take further training to be an accountant
Other Qualifications Needed
To become an accountant you will ideally have a Bachelors Degree in accountancy. You would then normally train to become a chartered accountant, which means qualifying with one of the following professional bodies:
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
Association of International Accountants (AIA)
In England, one of the most common routes to becoming a chartered accountant is to train with a provider accredited by ICAEW, which ensures that you obtain relevant qualifications and a recognised level of proficiency. Courses are delivered in a variety of ways to fit in with your work and other commitments, but you will usually need to complete 450 days of work experience with an appropriate employer (approved by ICAEW) and pass the approved examinations.
Average Working Hours Per Week = 37.5 hours a week, 9-5
Common Working Pattern
Time Taken To Qualify
3 - 5 years
Facts And Figures
79% of accountants say they get on well with their colleagues
(Source: City & Guilds)
4 in 10 accountancy jobs are in London and the South East
(Source: Prospects UK)
Between 2011 and 2015, the accountancy market is forecast to increase by 21.4%, to an estimated value of £27.25bn in 2015.
(Source: Key Note)
My accountancy training gave me a general business qualification that has proved invaluable over the years both in advising clients and running my own business. It has an image of being boring and dry, but its really only as boring as you make it, with 200 clients and 6 staff my days are anything but boring and rarely are any two weeks the same.Paul Wragg FCA, BA . Director of Focus Accounting Limited